Losing a star employee is difficult. Losing an executive brings additional complications. What are your options to cope with the loss while maintaining the confidence of your staff? Consider whether retaining them is an option; if not, then learn from the experience and replace them quickly. Begin with an honest discussion with your executive to learn why they are leaving and what the new position offers that you could not.

Wise professionals are circumspect when it comes to reasons for leaving. No one wants to burn bridges and sometimes employees move on for personal and complex reasons. It’s still important to try to get to the bottom of their departure. More important still is to draft a plan to transfer knowledge to his successor.

Management should not be surprised that an employee has decided to leave the company. Regular meetings to take each direct report’s temperature are a must. Are they challenged? Do they feel appreciated and well compensated? Engaged employees feel that they are being heard, have the resources they need to do their jobs and an effective means of managing stress. An effective leader should know these details for each direct report.

Should you counteroffer?

When people hear “counteroffer,” they think about throwing money at a problem – money your organization may not be able to afford. Yet, until you know why they are leaving, you don’t know what your options are to resolve the issue. Is the new position a step up? Can you offer a similar position in your organization? Will he be getting more autonomy? A shorter commute? Consider all possible options if you wish to retain them.

What can you learn?

The number one reason people leave is because of their direct supervisor. Be honest with yourself about the quality of your own performance. Did you provide clear objectives and the resources required to achieve them? Do you have a plan for each employee’s next step up the career ladder?

How can you replace them?

The quicker you are able to move someone into the vacant position, the better for the organization and employee morale. If you were not already grooming someone for the role, consider working with an executive recruiter. With a recruiter who specializes in your industry and brings experience placing candidates at the executive level, you’ll get better results faster and without taking time from your own core tasks.

Consider partnering with the executive search consultants at BrainWorks. We can help you source proven leaders quickly and more cost-effectively than you can do it on your own. Some of the largest and most highly selective organizations trust us to search for talent, and we can do the same for you. Contact us today to get started.

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